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The Electronic Communications Act and Realyst Signatures

Updated: Jul 2, 2019

The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, No. 25 of 2002 (“ECT Act”) provides for the regulation of electronic communications and transactions.



The ECT Act defines an electronic signature as "data attached to, incorporated in, or logically associated with other data and which is intended by the user to serve as a signature”. Put simply, so long as the ‘data’ in the electronic document is intended by the user to serve as a signature and is logically connected with other data in the electronic document, the requirement for an electronic signature is satisfied.


In general the function of a signature is to provide evidence of (1) the identity of the signatory, (2) that the signatory intended the signature to be his signature, and (3) that the writing or text to which the signature is associated is adopted or approved by the signatory.


Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act of 2012, makes allowances for the legality of electronic signatures, and in fact the Supreme Court recently recognised an email signature as a valid electronic signature. This is because it meets the two most important criteria – there is an association or relationship between the document and the signature, and the person intended it to be a signature.


Realyst Signatures is able to prove intent, as well as the relationship between the document and the ‘signature’. We also further comply to the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act as we ensure security is in place and limit the processing of sensitive personal information.

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